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TEPCO caught red-handed (2)

February 8, 2013


Probe at reactor bldg blocked by false info from TEPCO

Tokyo Electric Power Co. falsely told a Diet commission that a facility at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was completely dark, causing the commission to abandon plans for an on-site inspection of the building housing the facility last March, it was learned Thursday.

Tasked with investigating the crisis at the plant in Fukushima Prefecture, the commission sought to examine the facility on the fourth floor of the building that contained the plant's crippled No. 1 reactor. However, a TEPCO official allegedly told them, "It would be dangerous, as it's pitch dark."

"There was a serious obstruction to our investigation due to a false explanation," Mitsuhiko Tanaka, then a member of the Diet commission, wrote in a letter submitted Thursday to the economy minister and the speakers of both houses of the Diet.

In the letter, Tanaka sought for the commission to conduct an on-site investigation of the building.

According to its written request, the commission tried to inspect the fourth-floor facility because they suspected the emergency isolation condenser there had been damaged by the earthquake, rather than by the tsunami that followed on March 11, 2011.

On Feb. 28, shortly before their planned inspection, TEPCO officials, including the then planning department chief Toshimitsu Tamai, visited the Diet to see Tanaka and others. They showed them dimly lit footage from inside the fourth floor facility.

While showing the footage, they reportedly told the commission members, "This was taken before the cover [to hamper the dispersal of radioactive materials] was installed. Now the building is covered, and there's no light inside."

However, the footage was later found to have been taken after the protective cover was installed. It was also learned that lighting had been installed there.

The commission compiled its final report in July, without confirming whether the condenser was damaged, and if damaged, how.


February 7, 2013


TEPCO suspected of false account to Diet panel



The operator of the disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been accused of trying to block a Diet panel probe into the March 2011 nuclear accident at the facility.

Mitsuhiko Tanaka, a former Diet panel member, submitted a document to the leaders of both chambers of the Diet on Thursday, asking for an investigation into the matter.

Tanaka claims in the document that Tokyo Electric Power Company told the panel last February that the inside of the building housing the plant's No.1 reactor was pitch-dark as it was covered by a sheet, rendering it too dangerous for an onsite inspection to be carried out.

This explanation, he says, led the panel to give up the idea of conducting the on-site inspection.

TEPCO reportedly showed the panel a video depicting the interior of the reactor building, explaining that the footage was shot before the installment of the cover.

But Tanaka says it was later discovered that the images were shot after the installment and the inside was not completely dark regardless of the existence of the cover.

Tanaka says TEPCO's false explanation constitutes a serious obstruction of the panel's business. He is demanding that the Diet look into the developments and conduct an onsite investigation.

TEPCO refuted the allegation, saying officials in charge made a mistake in dating the footage.



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